While My Country Gently Weeps: Life in Transitional Nepal

1:43 PM melodycharm: ke hunthyo…yo jhaare ma ta khaali padhai padhai…..n it’s not at all smart work…just da dull HARD WORK….so useless
1:44 PM hrd abt some political disturbance again in ktm??
me: what useless ni tero jhan sunaula din aucha then.
1:45 PM melodycharm: aako aayai ho
me: yah tyo ta daily routine nai ho, sometimes its soooo frustrating
1:46 PM melodycharm: i know….malai pani nepal ko haal dekhera ekdam dikka laagchha….feel like murderin all those rascal of politicians….

Sep 23, 2007

This is an excerpt of a conversation I was having with a friend of mine who is currently studying in India. The date Sep 23. Let me check the newspapers if anything happened in Kathmandu that day. It says the Nepali Congress Mahasamiti Baithak started with a purpose of sealing the republic agenda. Now, that doesn’t make for political disturbance does it? She was most probably talking about the Maoists resigning from the government and proclaiming the Constituent Assembly Elections to be a hoax!! Ten days after quitting the government in Sep 19,2007 the news states that the Maoist leaders say that Constituent Assembly Elections should be held in the given date i.e Mangsir 4, 2064 B.S. ( Thursday, November 22,2007). Sep 19 seems like history to me now. Changes are instantaneous here, every second counts. Days will surely feel like months when you live under such circumstances.

Sep 19 I had a workshop to attend in Maitighar at 1. It takes 15-20 minutes or less by bus to get there. I didn’t know of the Maoists mass meeting in Tudikhel that day. The bus reached Tinkune and it wasn’t allowed to go any further because of the mass meeting. Walking in midday sun is the last thing I enjoy but that was what I was entitled to. Huge number of people walked on the Chinese Highway. The Maoists played all sorts of musical instruments and chanted their slogans. The scorching heat, the unwanted noise and the realization that I was going to be half an hour late was making my temperature shoot up like anything.

Relapsed back to thinking. I realized how insane our political leaders are and how absolutely hypocritical the Maoists in Particular are. Time and again millions like me have to waste their time walking to their destinations wasting minutes, hours and yet it is of no one’s concern. Everytime I am forced to do so I ask myself if my being a human resource of this nation matters to anyone. Isn’t the nation at a loss when thousands like me waste their time unproductively? Am I not a human resource? How can a nation afford to waste its resource this way when it needs them? Maybe I have not developed that higher sense of political understanding. But what is politics if not the experience and understanding of the ones in the lowest social hierarchy whatever that be whether in terms of education, wealth… What use debating of republic, restructuring of state if it cannot bring a change for better in the lives of people like us? Talking big is easy, so damn easy. Its always simple to be complex. Very simple indeed. Use a political jargon and it will suffice. No one will get it. But it’s very complex to be simple.

The next day, on my way to college I had to hang on the bus like a conductor. Very few vehicles came from the Bhaktapur side. There was an interesting conversation going on between the conductor and a passenger.
“Why is the bus so crowded?” the passenger asked.

C: “The Maoists have painted slogans on the highway and warned anyone driving on it will be charged Rs 5000 so very few buses were sent.”

P: “The government should give in to the Maoists wishes. We need to declare the nation to be republic.”

C: “Testa chor lai sadhu ra sadhu lai chor banaune ko kura ni ke mannu. Kaslai chahiyeko cha ra ganatantra?”

P: “ Chahiyeko ta kaslai cha ra, tara nagari sukha chaina.”

Shouldn’t the people know what difference a Republic State makes before the nation goes into it? When no one had even heard the term Constituent Assembly the Maoists popularized it to such extent that though all mayn’t know the meaning everyone in Nepal should have heard of it. Then they say CA is a hoax? Last Monday there was a Civic Education in Constituent Assembly program in college where a participant told an interesting story. A woman in Jumla when asked “What is Constituent Assembly?” answered “Must be a name of a city near Kathmandu.” Then the speaker related a similar tale. A woman in Dadeldhura asked, “ La sambidhan sabha vayo re, raja Gyanendra ni hate re tara nani mero ghar ko raja chahin kahile hatcha ni?” (Okay we need CA election and King Gyanendra is outsted too but what about the King of my house, when will he go?) She was talking about the domestic violence she faced everyday.

The debate of CA polls had to be localized before going into in. Each and every single individual had to be able to see its relevance in their personal lives. But that’s what should have been. It did not. Still the country cannot afford to postpond the CA elections the second time which in my opinion the political parties are to blame for. They rushed to give the dates. Now the nation has to run in a pace too fast for it. There is no turning back as it can’t afford another Kapilvastu disaster where 5000 people were displaced, houses blazed in flames, and vehicles destroyed. Reports of crimes against women like rape did come though I haven’t come across the data on that one. Personally I couldn’t stop my tears on reading of such devastation. A victim was quoted saying “What we hear happens in Iraq took place right in front of our eyes.” Still Kathmandu remains untouched by it. I wouldn’t say totally distant from all the troubles people elsewhere face because it does have its overdose of strikes. But here we are living in spite of all the inflation, the strikes, elsewhere people struggle to exist itself.

Going back to how eventful living in Kathmandu is. Here’s an interesting fact, it is International Right to Know Day today ( Sep 28). Ironically I am deprived of the very right because the only newspapers that my home receives are not published. (The Kantipur National Daily and The Kathmandu Post). It started with the Himalyan Times moved on to the Kamana Prakashan and now Kantipur Publications. It’s the Maoists Again. Nothing New Comrades! I am not a Kantipur publicist or anything but as a reader and subscriber of the paper I sure would like to know the whereabouts of my newspaper today. Did the Comrades have it for breakfast? The question here is of the attacking the fourth organ of the state. Its is the Age Of Communication and you can’t just act on your whim and fancies and go against the constitution???

Read more of it here

Now as for making life in Kathmandu more eventful. All I wish for is the Maoists join the government and give up Being the Drama Kings of the Century. May the 7 parties whose meeting is going on at the moment come up with a solution and Oh Dear God, for once let this nation function in Peace!!



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